Catch Up

August 5, 2006
Catch-up Time

I’ve been without a computer for most of the past month—so I’m a bit behind in blogging. We lost the phone connection on the 11th of July for a week, so I couldn’t get to the internet at all. The very next day after the phone line was repaired- the computer blew its graphic card. It was only fixed on the 2nd of August. We did have the laptop, but as none of my programs are on there—I decided to go without. I’ll tell you— I’m so addicted to my evening time on the internet! But as you can tell—everything is restored and we are back in business.

We’ve been getting along as usual—friends over, visiting friends, parks, allotment and the garden at home. Eventually all our work will pay off with the garden—but for now, no one would believe how much work goes into it!

Last weekend we went to the north for a wander around. On the 29th of July we drove to St. Helens (Michael’s hometown). His brother and his new wife just moved back there from the London area, so we went to see the new house. They are thrilled as they found a good size house within walking distance of his daughters’ home with their mother. It was nice to see them all in their own environment, and together as a family. For the past two years we’ve only seen them occasionally together and always at Michaels parents house. H & K think the girls live there.

In the evening the four of us drove to Michael’s parents’ house and had dinner with them and his grandmother. We don’t go up very often, so it was really nice to see his grandmother. Their great-gran and their grandparents decided to give the kids some money this time. They kept going on about saving it up for a treat etc…—I had to tell them they have no idea what that means! They think money is used for groceries, and that’s about it! I’m not really in favour of people just handing toddlers money—and not sure why they did it—but did decide to let them keep it and spend it. Might as well start now—plus they have to learn the cost of things before they can learn the need to save. After a few hours visit we went to the hotel—the kids favorite part of any trip!

In the morning we went to Michael’s sisters for just a couple of hours. The kids had a run around with their cousin Jamie and his new cat Sammy. Well—my two wouldn’t touch the kitten, but they did get fairly close to it. Jamie is 6 ½–and Kieran looks very much like him, and is just about as tall as Jamie already.

By noon we were in the car off to the Peak District. We had a lovely drive there—not too sunny, but it didn’t rain as forecasted. We stopped off and got some food at a local shop and had a car picnic next to the Three Peaks. It was a beautiful—but very windy and chilly spot! Especially as two hours further south we were in a heat wave—the cool air was refreshing. Our 1st stop was in Buxton. This is where the kids spent the money their Great-Gran gave them. There was a train merry-go-round and a trampoline play area—so they each had a turn on both—with their own money.

The next morning we went for a drive and did a small walk up Teggs Nose. The kids and I all made it without any help! OK—that’s only really impressive when it comes to my making it up the hill, not the kids!

But the best part of the day was when we passed a bargain book shop. What a find! The kids used the £5 they got from their grandparents to buy a few books each—Kieran got five and Hazel got four. I got about 25 books for the kids for £32. We’re going back there!

On the way home we stopped off at a farm shop we’ve been meaning to check out. The shop was very expensive, but they have a free play area and some animals the kids can see—so that was nice and it is someplace I’d go back to. You can bring your own picnic lunch and eat in the play area.

Today I spent the day in the kitchen after a run to the shops. We baked 24 jam tarts, 2 zucchini breads and I made zucchini feta cheese patties for dinner. The patties were a very tasty way to use up some of our produce. Michael spent the day treating some of the fences outside and the kids played and helped us both out.

Tomorrow is the farmers market in town—so Hazel is very excited about getting a sausage sandwich! Goodness help us the day that stand isn’t there!

Major accomplishments: Hazel spelt out her first word- ‘Sammy’ on the 3rd of August, and then the next day she did ‘apples’ and ‘grapes’. Sammy is the name of the caterpillar she drew to represent the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’. This is really good as I’ve spent almost no time on the sounds each letter makes. Hazel can play all of Twinkle, Twinkle little star on her little keyboard. Kieran can do the first section—not bad after a five minute tutorial from me—and you know I have no musical skills! Another proud mommy moment this past month—both Kieran and Hazel can blow their own noses! Yes—only a mom could be thrilled with that one!

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